City of Harare Press Statement on blocked storm water drains

City of Harare has dispatched teams to unblock catch pits and storm water drains following yesterday’s flash floods that swept garbage into the city’s drainage system.

Council urges residents, visitors and the business community to properly and correctly dispose of their garbage.

The first rains always cause flash floods that sweep litter from the streets and pavements into catch pits and the storm water drains.
Council routinely does maintenance of the catch pits and storm water drains but is always overtaken by the first rains.

Council has dedicated garbage collection trucks that service the CBD. We encourage stakeholders in the CBD to make good use of the vehicles. But some people especially shop owners have decided to offload their garbage into alleys and on to pavements of their shops. This practice is very widespread in down town Harare.

Illegal vendors (pavement economy) are also to blame for the blockages since they are operating on areas that are not serviced with bins. This is one of the reasons why council is calling for the reorganization of vendors citywide. Council has designated 12 legal vending sites in the CBD and is encouraging vendors trading on unplanned places to register and be allocated vending slots on designated sites.

The result of that careless behavior is the choking of the storm water drains and the subsequent inconvenience to the pedestrian and motoring public.

Every shop owner is expected to have a minimum number of refuse bins that conforms to the size of their businesses. Routine checks on the availability of the bins would be carried out with those without being fined and made to buy the bins.

Businesses and residents should take responsibility of the frontage of their premises through the clearing of blocked storm water drains and culverts. City by-laws make it mandatory for property owners to take that charge.

Council takes this opportunity to urge motorists to exercise caution when parking their vehicles during this period. They should avoid parking under trees. Whilst council acknowledges that some trees are old – trees are an important component in the urban ecosystem.

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